National Signing Day is less than two weeks away, and Tennessee recruiting is dominating the headlines right now. The Vols have just a pair of weekends to host visitors and finalize their 2017 class.
Tennessee welcomed a big group last weekend, and it will bring in another strong crop of commits and two targets this weekend.
Here’s a quick breakdown on everything you need to know about Tennessee’s 2017 class. Where is it ranked? Top commits? Top targets? Official visitors?
Where is Tennessee’s class ranked?
With 27 commits, the Vols check in at No. 10 nationally and No. 6 in the SEC. They rank behind Alabama (1), Georgia (3), LSU (6), Texas A&M (8) and Auburn (9), per the 247Sports composite. The recruiting services recently updated their final player rankings, too, with a number of Vols commits littering the lists.
Who are Tennessee’s top commitments?
* No. 11 overall Trey Smith, a 5-star offensive tackle from University School of Jackson (Tenn.)
* No. 68 overall Ty Chandler, a 4-star tailback from Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.)
* No. 78 overall Maleik Gray, a 4-star safety from LaVergne (Tenn.)
* No. 218 overall Eric Crosby, a 4-star defensive tackle from Ocean Lakes (Va.)
* No. 305 overall Will Ignont, a 4-star linebacker from Buckhorn (Ala.)
Who committed to Tennessee this week?
The Vols added 3-star defensive end Ryan Thaxton on Tuesday. The Virginia pass rusher silently committed on Sunday after wrapping up his official visit with the Vols. He gives Tennessee seven defensive linemen in the 2017 class.
Who will take official visits to Tennessee this week?
Right now, Tennessee is scheduled to host 11 official visitors this weekend. Nine commits — Ignont, Henderson, Page, Labruzza, Shamburger, Bembry, Jones, Butler and Brown — will be in town. They’ll be joined by two uncommitted targets: 3-star defensive end Aaron Sterling and 3-star tailback Tim Jordan.
Who are Tennessee’s top uncommitted targets?
* No. 26 overall LaBryan Ray, a 4-star defensive end from James Clemens (Ala.) — Ray actually earned a 5th star in the latest 247Sports update. Tennessee hosted the impressive pass rusher last weekend, and has visited Ray multiple times since the dead period ended. Still, he’ll visit Alabama this weekend, and the Tide remain the best bet to land the Under Armour All-American.
* No. 211 overall Travis Etienne, a 4-star running back from Jennings (La.) — Etienne took his first trip to Tennessee last week and will visit Clemson this weekend. LSU remains the front-runner here.
* No. 305 nationally Elijah Conliffe, a 4-star end from Hampton (Va.) — The longtime Alabama lean enjoyed his official visit to Tennessee, and Vols have some momentum before his Jan. 31 announcement. He visits Florida this weekend and is still strongly considering Bama and Penn State, too.
* No. 438 nationally Aaron Sterling, a 3-star defensive end from Tucker (Ga.) — The former Alabama commit is a South Carolina lean, but Tennessee could become a major factor depending on what happens with Ray or Conliffe.
Who has enrolled early?
Tennessee has five commits who are now signees and began class on Jan. 11.
* OT Trey Smith (University School)
* LB Shanon Reid (Dunbar High, Fla.)
* OT Riley Locklear (Spring Valley High, W.Va.)
* DE Deandre Johnson (Miami Southridge High, Fla.)
* QB Will McBride (Clear Springs High, Texas)
Quarterback (1) — Will McBride (Clear Springs, Texas)
Running back (2) — Ty Chandler (Montgomery Bell Academy), Trey Coleman (West Monroe, La.)
Tight end (1) — James Brown (Jones, Fla.)
Receiver (3) — Jordan Murphy (Hattiesburg, Miss.), Princeton Fant (LaVergne), Jacquez Jones (Clearwater, Fla.)
Offensive line (3) — Riley Locklear (Spring Valley, W.Va.), K’Rojhn Calbert (Warren County), Trey Smith (University School)
Defensive line (7) — Kivon Bennett (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fla.), Eric Crosby (Ocean Lakes, Va.), Marquez Bembry (Mount Vernon Presbyterian, Ga.), Deandre Johnson (Miami Southridge, Fla.), Latrell Bumphus (Hardin County), Matthew Butler (Garner, N.C.), Ryan Thaxton (St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, Va.)
Linebacker (4) — Jaquan Henderson (Newton, Ga.), Solon Page III (Kell, Ga.), Will Ignont (Buckhorn, Ala.), Shanon Reid (Dunbar, Fla.)
Defensive back (5) — Maleik Gray (LaVergne), Theo Jackson (Overton), Cheyenne Labruzza (Albany, La.), Shawn Shamburger (Colquitt County, Ga.), Terrell Bailey (John Ehret, La.)
Kicker (1) — Brent Cimaglia (Fred J Page)
North Carolina (1)
West Virginia (1)
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